Tanager grapplers prepared for season By Parker Knox
Sportswriter If it's true that off-season work translates into in-season success, Vermillion High wrestling fans may be in for another invigorating winter. "I feel our kids are prepared better than ever, based on the amount of hard work so many of them have put into the off-season," said Joe Delvaux, who takes over as head coach of the Tanager grapplers this year.�? "They have attended camps and workout sessions and really embraced the concept that wrestling is a year-long commitment." The Tanagers will hear the first whistles of the campaign at home in a triangular with Lennox and Brandon Valley on Tuesday, Dec. 2.�? The opening week of the season will conclude at Sioux Falls Roosevelt's tournament Saturday, Dec. 6. Delvaux said there has been "a tremendous amount of energy" in the wrestling room during the first days of official practice. "We have been working extremely hard in preparation for the upcoming season," he said.�? "The key will be maintaining that energy throughout a long and arduous season." Vermillion, which placed 12th in last year's state tournament after a 13-5 record in regular-season duals, welcomes back 15 previous letterwinners, including seniors Jeff Anglin, Andrew Eidem, Joe Eisenmenger and Brad Orr.�? Juniors who have lettered in the past are Gerrit Heine, Earl Kiertzner, Chris Mart, Tanner Mart, Nick Mart and J.R. Moore.�? There are also five sophomore lettermen back, including Lance Burkhart, Ethan Druin, Jake Knutson, Joey Mueller and Carson Sullivan. The Tanagers will also have the services of a senior addition to the team, Joe Talley, as well as junior T.J. North, a former state champion in Class "B" ranks. A rugged schedule in a very competitive region should prepare the Tanagers for postseason.�? Delvaux expects Canton and Yankton to be especially tough in Region 2A. "Our goal is to be competitive in every dual we wrestle and every tournament we enter," Delvaux noted.�? "We also know that we accomplish this only by being focused and working hard." Delvaux said he and his staff have great numbers of wrestlers out for the sport so fans can anticipate plenty of junior varsity action along with the varsity matches. �?